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Daily Archives: June 13, 2012

Or maybe I’ll tell you about these kids today.

My class at the kindy, that is.

I’m teaching them three days a week, technically for three one-hour slots but because those are spread over the day, it’s really more by the time you play with them, make sure they finish their lunch, deal with the “Teacher! he’s not letting me do it… Teacher I don’t want to…” etc. :) The kids are adorable, and very different. I have five of them, all either 4 or 5 years old, but at very different levels.

Lambeth (m) is darling – so good, really advanced for reading (!) and pretty cute. He was the one who featured in my FB status about counting. He likes adding more than subtracting – so teaching him subtraction is a goal with him at the moment. Such a smart lad – we’re getting into the problems where you have to borrow from the next digit even!

Ploy (f) is one of the older ones. She’s always wanting to please – she also likes attention, and will usually try and get mine to take her through activities she’s perfectly capable of doing herself. She’ll generally do what she’s told and enjoys maths – I’m trying to get her to do the more challenging activities in her book (not just the colouring, or the ones she finds easy.)

JJ (m, pronounced Jie Jie) is a bit younger, and so far I haven’t managed to get him to do much except something that doesn’t require a whole lot, such as colouring or tracing the correct letter. He’ll literally sit there and kind of absently move his pencil around, and sometimes I wonder if he can hear me! He’s cute though – with a really high little voice!

Cha Cha (f) is also younger, incredibly cute and sweet. She really likes to colour, so if any activity involves colouring she’ll be happy. She also likes being read to. On encouraging her as much as possible to read some words herself, she’s actually not too bad, she just prefers being read to. She finds maths (very simple addition) a challenge, but I gathered from her mother that she wants her to do some, so I’m trying to get her to see how she can use her fingers to count and add.

And then there’s Earth.

Earth (m) falls into the older category, I think, but he’s not as advanced grade-wise so his workbook is the same as the younger ones. He is very, very energetic, very distracted, pretty naughty, and pretty cute. It’s totally unfair that he’s the one I feel most drawn to – really, even getting him to sit down for one minute (not exaggerating) is a struggle, every class. He distracts the other boys, often, and it’s not uncommon to see him going under the table at least three times in one class, or boring holes in his book with his pencil. He doesn’t always play nicely with the others, though they all seem to like each other anyway. But he’s not a bad kid – apart from the disobedience, that is! He’s quite warm, he’ll sit close to me and let me read to him sometimes, (though he usually wants to turn to the next page every 10sec and wants to change books after about 2 pages,) and he’ll tell us all about – whatever. He’s just incredibly distracted. He says he can’t read, and will just pick up the simple (one word per page) books and flip through them, looking at the pictures, and not try to read the words at all. But I’ve managed to surmise that he does know a few words, he’s just obviously not confident enough reading and so doesn’t bother. Maths is more successful with him – he can add and subtract pretty well so I hope to give him enough of that so that he doesn’t get sick of stuff he “can’t” do, while still doing enough reading practice with him to help him gain confidence.

When I left the kindy today a little earlier today, it was Earth who was the first to run to the door to wave and call out “byyyyye!” after me. The others came and joined him one by one. And when I think about going in every morning – my biggest drawcard is going to see Earth again.

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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Thailand

 

At the kindy

Just thought I would post about how teaching at this kindergarten came about. Certainly not something I’d ever anticipated doing on this trip!

It started with Kevin asking if I’d like to use some of my slower days to volunteer at this Korean pastor friend’s kindy. They (along with every other school in Thailand) were desperate for a native English speaker.

I said yes. I’m saying yes to most things on this trip – it’s a good way to go, I think! The only thing I believe I’ve said no to are the crickets Kevin tried to make me to eat. Mostly (or as my excuse anyway), because we’d just watched a rather disgusting documentary about people in different cultures eating all kinds of bugs/spiders, live. Yes, live. And there were closeups, lots of closeups. And I was rather grossed out. Okay?

So I said yes. The next day, I met this Korean pastor – that same day, he took me out to the kindy to have a look, where I was greeted with much warmth, sat in on one of the other teachers taking the older (4-5yr old) kids through some activity books, and was asked if that afternoon I’d like to teach. Like, literally – “can you teach now?” (Things move fast here – in some ways.)

I said no to that. – Okay, so that’s two things I’ve said no to.

I’m teaching three days a week, Mon-Wed. I have to say, I’m really touched by the depth of vision this pastor and his wife have for this kindy, just wanting to love the kids and show them and their parents a glimpse of Jesus. It does come through in all their interactions, and in our conversations at devotions before the kids arrive. (Speaking of devotions – my first morning on Monday, 5min after sitting down, the pastor asked if I could do the devotion tomorrow and the next day. I said yes.)

I look after the older kids, 4-5year-olds. I’ll tell you more about them later.

 
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Posted by on June 13, 2012 in Thailand